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General Forestry => Forest Education => Topic started by: jrose1970 on January 19, 2015, 03:56:21 PM

Title: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 19, 2015, 03:56:21 PM
Hey Folks,
   We tapped 11 trees Saturday the 17th and have already got 20 gallons of sap. That will boil down into about 4 pints of maple syrup! I'm going to leave as many sugar maples as I can! We live in Tennessee, so you have to tap them earlier. Ours will quit flowing by the 20th of February.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: DeerMeadowFarm on January 19, 2015, 04:49:47 PM
When I contacted a forester to help write our forestry plan, we discovered a small "sugar bush" on the property. One of the plans is to manage that area and begin tapping as well. I can't wait!  ;D
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: addysdaddy on January 19, 2015, 05:31:09 PM
The absolute best cup of coffee in the world... Use maple sap straight from the tree in place of water in the old drip coffee makers ... it's the perfect mellow sweetness and a hint of milk is to die for... You will never go back
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 20, 2015, 07:56:53 AM
You are right addysdaddy about drinking the sap straight. I will try that about the coffee! When we are boiling it, we can't keep the kids out of it when it is about half strenght.  ;DIt is better than soft drinks ever thought about being.
  I agree DeerMeadowFarm, any forestry plan should include the sugar! It is about $20 a quart and fun too! 8) Twelve taps are working us pretty hard. LOL
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: thecfarm on January 20, 2015, 08:01:16 AM
I did it last year. The wife and I had a great time doing it. I wanted to build her a small scale sugar shack,but did not get it done. That is on the list.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: DeerMeadowFarm on January 20, 2015, 09:19:44 AM
What are you guys using for an evaporator for small scale like this?
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: thecfarm on January 20, 2015, 09:34:47 AM
This is what was posted last year.
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,73175.0.html

I think I posted about building the wife a stove,but never did it. I really would like to get all that done for her,us. We really had a fun time collecting and boiling. Need a building to get us out of the weather.

Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: cbla on January 20, 2015, 11:55:02 AM
thecfarm, how long will the frozen sap last? I am planning on doing some this year at my camp and will only get down on weekends. I was planning on doing what you did with the pop bottles.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: thecfarm on January 20, 2015, 03:41:26 PM
cbla,I have no idea. All this maple was,is,a new experiece for me. But I would think a couple weeks,month would be fine. But what do I know!! I think I filled soda bottles and than cut the top off and put what was froze into some we had boiling. It does take some freezer space to keep it too. One thing I did not do,and would not do,is put any plastic container in the sap to hurry the melting part. Plastic is not good to heat in. You would not want to ruin a batch with a plastic taste.That is why I would let them melt for a while and than cut the top off. I don't know if the above link mentioned to have another pan on the heat part to warm any sap up in. This way when it is poured into the boiling pan,it is quite warm all ready. This is all small scale sapping at it's best.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: cbla on January 20, 2015, 05:14:43 PM
I was thinking about that. (ie a warming pot and boiling pot) How hard do you think it would be to finish it off outdoors? I do not have a range hood in the camp and don't want sticky steam over everything. do you use a thermometer?
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: thecfarm on January 20, 2015, 05:49:21 PM
Yes,on the thermometer,a digital one. Seem like $10-15. But the mositure did it in.But we got a season out of it.We tried a candy one,but too hard to read.It takes a while to get it up to 212. Than we would bring it inside to finish it off. Most times we never had more than a quart. I put a piece of wire onto the digital thermometer to hang onto. I forgot what we brought the temp up to,216??? Have to be careful with the temp,can make candy real easy. There is some steam on the finish part,but nothing like when you are trying to boil the water out of it. We could of done it outside,just easier inside to do it. I had it pretty close a few times outside. If you are concerned about the moisture inside,just finish it off outside. I used a much smaller pan when I finished it off. Somewheres on the link that I posted,someone said, As long as it taste good to you,so what? It is not like we are selling it. There are things that can be brought,at a price,that makes the sapping easier,but more costly. I tried to keep it on the fun and the cheap side. I have no need,nor can I afford, to spend $300 on a gallon of syrup.  :D
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: cbla on January 21, 2015, 04:39:37 AM
 :D nor can I. thanks
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 21, 2015, 10:26:58 AM
Hey DeerMeadowFarm,
   We use two big stainless boilers. We heat with wood, so we put about five gallons on the stove in the big boiler.
When it gets to about half strength, we move it to the kitchen stove to finish it. We have made two quarts from 25 gallons already, so we got it a little too strong, but it sure is good!
    We bought a propane burner to do it in the shop with the door open for moisture, but this time of year our house could use the moisture. LOL
   The trees are ready in Tennessee a loooonnnnggg time before they are ready in Nova Scotia! LOL
Next year I'm going to tap them on January 12th instead of the 17th.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: Remle on January 21, 2015, 12:19:27 PM
thecfarm, how long will the frozen sap last? I am planning on doing some this year at my camp and will only get down on weekends. I was planning on doing what you did with the pop bottles.
We used 5 gal pails and on a good day they would over flow. Forget the pop bottles, get your self some plastic taps that they use on pipe line systems and some hose and use a clean garbage can to collect larger volume of sap..
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: cbla on January 21, 2015, 12:48:50 PM
Remle, In my application I will only be able to boil on one day ( probably Saturday night) then I wont be back down until the next weekend. I was thinking of using thecfarm's method of freezing the unused sap in pop bottles until the next chance at boiling, I wouldn't be using the pop bottles for the collection.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on January 28, 2015, 10:35:07 AM
We boiled 2 quarts and put them in the refrigerator. But now there is only just over 1 quart. I think it must be evaporating. I'm sure that our 7 kids have not had any. :) :D
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: thecfarm on January 28, 2015, 05:46:25 PM
I think it must be evaporating. I'm sure that our 7 kids have not had any. :) :D

Maybe you have a Little Green Man like I had here.  :D
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: kwendt on February 01, 2015, 03:37:33 PM
Awesome thread. Thank you for all the great ideas...
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: Peter Drouin on February 02, 2015, 08:45:16 PM
If you boil too much inside the walls of the house will be sticky. :D :D :D
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on February 03, 2015, 07:48:03 AM
Thanks for the heads up about boiling too much inside!
Boy, this has been a great year so far. The tempetatures have been perfect on the plateau here in Tennessee.
It has been in the low 20's at night and going up to about 40-50 in the daytime.
We usually get five gallons from 11 trees.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: kwendt on February 03, 2015, 05:01:55 PM
I checked with Kinney Sugerhouse supplies in Maine, and they have supplies for 'hobbiest' or home sugar makers...
(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with them in any way. I simply called them because I too was looking to find someone who sold small batch/home/hobbiest sugar supplies. I merely pass on the name for anyone interested in something similar).
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on February 04, 2015, 07:44:39 AM
That sounds good. I got a kit with 12 taps from a supplier. I forgot which one. It was very inexpensive. I got the 5 quart buckets from Lowes at $1 each.  When it comes to maple trees, I envy those of you in the northeast. :) You have a guarenteed income with maple syrup!. I just don't envy the cold. LOL  My brother says that it is humanly impossible to live north of Tennessee.  We were born in Georgia. :)
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: GAB on February 04, 2015, 10:17:02 AM
That sounds good. I got a kit with 12 taps from a supplier. I forgot which one. It was very inexpensive. I got the 5 quart buckets from Lowes at $1 each.  When it comes to maple trees, I envy those of you in the northeast. :) You have a guarenteed income with maple syrup!. I just don't envy the cold. LOL  My brother says that it is humanly impossible to live north of Tennessee.  We were born in Georgia. :)

Go ahead and think like that, but there are some years where the income is less than the expenses.  My grandfather tapped one year and boiled only once, and his brother did not even boil once.  All the expense of tapping and picking up with no to very little product to sell or enjoy.
When talking agriculture your at the mercy of mother nature and I highly recommend that you not count your chickens before they hatch.  Especially if you have a bum rooster.
Gerald
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: DeerMeadowFarm on February 04, 2015, 04:05:42 PM
I finally have the components to build my small scale evaporator....stay tuned!  ;)
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: cbla on February 04, 2015, 07:21:35 PM
I finally have the components to build my small scale evaporator....stay tuned!  ;)

Make sure to take lots of pictures and post them please!
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: thecfarm on February 04, 2015, 07:24:13 PM
I guess I missed the guarenteed part. I must of forgot to turn in my warrety card.  :D  The only thing we are guarenteed is that it will get cold.  ;D
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: cbla on February 05, 2015, 05:40:14 AM
I guess I missed the guarenteed part. I must of forgot to turn in my warrety card.  :D  The only thing we are guarenteed is that it will get cold.  ;D
:D
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: SwampDonkey on February 05, 2015, 05:53:10 AM
You wont have to worry about steam being sticky I don't think. ;) My cousin and his family live 100 % off syrup and Christmas tree sales and cuts a small amount of wood. He doesn't have a very big sugar bush or much woods. Mostly Christmas tree farming.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on February 05, 2015, 10:25:22 AM
You're right about not having a guarentee, (LOL)   but you will still have taxes. :) This has been an exceptional year though! I boiled a half a pint this morning before work. It is fun! Next year we are going to 24 taps. It will be a lot more walking every night but good exercise.
Good luck DeerMeadowFarm! 
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: DeerMeadowFarm on February 05, 2015, 11:21:19 AM
Make sure to take lots of pictures and post them please!

I will. Hopefully they won't disapoint you! We are starting out pretty small!

Good luck DeerMeadowFarm!

Thanks!

I may not get to it this weekend, we are having a big sliding party on Saturday and we have a Mass for my mom at noon on Sunday; two years since she passed  :(

I don't want to hijack the thread so I started another post if you're interested how we do sliding at Deer Meadow Farm!
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=81186.new#new (http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=81186.new#new)
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on February 05, 2015, 01:24:22 PM
Sorry to hear about your mother.
We are still waiting for the first snow over about a half an inch. Sliding sounds fun!
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: DeerMeadowFarm on February 06, 2015, 11:35:32 AM
Sorry to hear about your mother.
Thanks. I can't believe she's been gone this long.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on February 06, 2015, 04:18:48 PM
 I haven't had to walk down that road yet and I'm not looking forward to it.
Happy sappin' and slidin'!
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: DeerMeadowFarm on February 06, 2015, 04:52:29 PM
She lived a good life until the last few years when Dementia took it's toll on her. We still have my dad; 89 years old! I'm picking him up at the assisted living facility where he lives to spend the weekend with us. From our bedroom window he'll be able to watch the kids (both young and old) go sliding by! He used to always make a track at his house for his grandkids so he'll appreciate it!
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: cbla on February 07, 2015, 11:47:04 AM
I am interested on seeing some pictures of this track. sounds awesome.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: Remle on February 07, 2015, 03:11:30 PM
If you want to see pictures of the tracks past, go back to reply #29 in this post and follow the yellow brick road, just follow the yellow brick road, aw nuts now I got that stupid song stuck in my head... LOL.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: BBTom on February 07, 2015, 05:00:50 PM
Maple syrup is at the correct density (66 Brix) when it boils at 7F above the boiling point of water.  Do not assume that water boils at 212F.  Boil some water and measure the temp with the same thermometer that you are using in the sap.  The boiling point of water changes with the barometric pressure, altitude, and anything else it wants, so you have to check it often.  Daily at least, more often if a front is coming through the area.   

Maple syrup will mold if it is less than 65 brix and will crystallize if more than 67.5 brix. 

Good luck to all and enjoy the fun of syrup making.
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on February 08, 2015, 07:11:28 PM
Hi BBTom,
  What does Brix stand for. I'm still learning the art of finishing it.
   By the way...my wife told me that I'm going to be washing walls in the spring. LOL. My Daddy taught me to say, "You were right and I was wrong."  Next year I'll have a summer kitchen or sugar shack!
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: cbla on February 09, 2015, 01:27:59 PM
Hi BBTom,
  What does Brix stand for. I'm still learning the art of finishing it

Go for the sugar shack



   By the way...my wife told me that I'm going to be washing walls in the spring. LOL. My Daddy taught me to say, "You were right and I was wrong."  Next year I'll have a summer kitchen or sugar shack!
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: cbla on February 09, 2015, 01:29:33 PM
I can only guess how hard it would be to clean up the sticky mess on the ceiling
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on February 10, 2015, 07:33:36 AM
I'll find out I reckon. LOL
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: BBTom on March 03, 2015, 04:45:41 AM
Sorry, I have been in process of moving to Missouri.  Brix is the percentage of sugar solids in suspension within the syrup. 
Title: Re: Sugar Maple!
Post by: jrose1970 on March 03, 2015, 03:20:04 PM
Thanks. Good luck with your new home in Missouri! I've been building on this one in Tennessee for 15 years. LOL